Mental Health Policy Research Guide: Home

T6801 Social Work Policy: Mental Health Policy Research Guide

Research Guide

Don't forget: 

General Resources

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): The largest mental health advocacy organization in the US. Its policy priorities include improving health, responding to crises, community inclusion and non-discrimination, and stopping harmful practices.
  • NAMI State Fact Sheets: State-specific mental health statistics on mental illness, access to care, insurance, and intersections with the penal system.
  • World Health Organization/WHO Mental Health
  • Mental Health America (MHA)
  • Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF): They also have legislative trackers. Example: Tracker on global health legislation, which does include some acts on mental health.
  • Bazelon Center: Since 1972, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has advocated for the civil rights, full inclusion and equality of adults and children with mental disabilities.
  • Behavioral Health News: Shares vital information on behavioral health, including evidence-based services, policy issues, and innovations from leaders and professionals in the field.
  • Michael Friedman's Writings: Read Michael Friedman's writings on Mental Health Policy & Practice, Geriatric Mental Health Policy & Practice, Social Advocacy, and more.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA is an agency within the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services tasked with   reducing the impact of substance use and mental illness in the United States

  • SAMHSA Data Center: Data sets on program evaluations, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, client-level mental health
  • SAMHSA Programs: Resources on SAMHSA programs including medication assisted treatment, homelessness programs and resources, faith-based and community initiatives, behavioral health equity, drug-free workplace programs, criminal and juvenile justice, disaster response, and programs targeting Native, Latinx, and Black communities

Criminalization of Substance Abuse

In the interest of PROP and sensitization to intersectional forms of oppression, here is some history on the criminalization of substance use.  

Then connect to mental health: 

  • Mental Health Parity Laws (MHPAEA, ACA)
  • Opioid Epidemic (CARA, SUPPORT Act)